The Edmond Sun

Local News

August 13, 2012

Forecast: 100-plus degree days end — for now

Agency expects drought to persist or intensify

EDMOND — Cooler temperatures and north wind Monday morning gave Edmond residents a break from 100-degree highs, and the forecast includes multiple chances for rain.

A mid-level disturbance moving across the central and southern plains through Monday night will trigger scattered showers and thunderstorms across the high plains to the west and northwest of Oklahoma late today. These thunderstorms were then expected to move east and southeast affecting portions of northern, western and central Oklahoma overnight.

Lack of sufficient instability and wind shear will keep the severe weather potential very low, according to the National Weather Service. Wind gusts up to 50 mph and cloud-to-ground lightning will be a concern.

Thunderstorm chances will continue Tuesday through the end of the week, with another good chance late this week as a storm system and frontal boundary move across the region. Some of the storms will be strong to severe.

 At 10:53 a.m., the Edmond measuring station was reporting 81 degrees with northerly winds at 12 mph. Monday’s high near 94 will be followed by a high near 84 Tuesday, a high near 97 Wednesday, a high near 92 Thursday, a high near 86 Friday and a high near 87 Saturday.

Rain chances will be 40 percent Tuesday and Thursday and 20 percent Wednesday and Friday.

The rain is needed, as drought conditions continue to intensify in Oklahoma. About 95 percent of the state is experiencing extreme to exceptional drought, according to the Aug. 7 U.S. Drought Monitor update. Exceptional drought is the most severe level. A sliver of territory along the Red River and another in the panhandle are experiencing severe drought.

The U.S. seasonal drought outlook for Aug. 2 through Oct. 31 calls for drought to persist or intensify in much of the nation’s mid-section. Temperatures are expected to average above normal.

The last time the lower 48 states had a comparable area of drought based on the monthly Palmer Drought Index was in 1956.

Drought continues to hamper farm production.

The combination of heat and dryness has severely reduced the quality and quantity of the corn and soybean crop, with 48 percent of the corn and 37 percent of the soybeans rated as poor or very poor as of July 29 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Furthermore, an El Niño watch continues with the forecaster consensus reflecting increased chances of an El Niño beginning sometime from July through September. El Niño is characterized by unusually cool temperatures in the equatorial Pacific. Most El Niño winters are mild over western Canada and parts of the northern U.S., and wet over the southern U.S. from Texas to Florida.

marks@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 108

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